Drawn to Life Review

By , on June 2, 2014
Last modified 9 years, 10 months ago

Drawn to Life
Download on the AppStore
2 out of 5


  • Creation idea is appealing
  • Cute graphics and story


  • Poor translation to iOS
  • Virtual button controls are nearly unusable
  • Creation tools are awful


Drawn to Life is an unfortunate reminder of why it is important for developers to consider what platform their game will appear on, especially when porting titles to a new devices.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Drawn to Life was a originally released back in 2007 on DS. It was based around the tantalising idea of letting you draw characters and items directly into a game world. Seven years on, the game has now made its way on to the App Store. All this port delivers, however, is proof that some things are best left in the past.

Despite the fact that creation is the the game's main hook, it is a limited mechanic. Each of your creations must conform to a specific size and shape, limiting your influence to purely cosmetic. Even with these limitations it is still an appealing idea, but one that is quickly soured by the interface.

It is incredibly hard to predict exactly where the chunky pixelated lines will appear, with your fingers preventing you seeing what is being drawn. This is made even worse by the tiny creation palette which makes accurate selection of each tool near impossible, while also managing to obscure the canvas. Its maddening, because these obstacles mean your creations never really reflect your imagination, leaving craving a second screen and a stylus.

Gameplay is a mix of top-down RPG fare and side-scrolling platforming. Here again it seems there has been no thought given to the move from DS to iOS device. The lazily slapped-on virtual buttons and d-pad prove completely unresponsive, making any simple combination moves (like a running jump) near impossible.

These frustrations were nothing, however, compared to the situation we encountered when trying to jump to the left. Due to the placement of the d-pad we regularly found our thumb making contact with the game window, which accidentally activated elements in the world. This left us opening the item creator, closing it, then opening it again, as we tried to jump to the next platform.

Drawn to Life is a lazy attempt at bringing an old title to the App Store. If were we to look for a positive it would be that it vindicates us for all the times we fall back on statements like “its a good port with responsive controls”, because this is proof not all games earn that accolade. In truth, however, there are no real positives here - just avoid.


Screenshot 1 of 10 Screenshot 2 of 10 Screenshot 3 of 10 Screenshot 4 of 10 Screenshot 5 of 10 Screenshot 6 of 10 Screenshot 7 of 10 Screenshot 8 of 10 Screenshot 9 of 10 Screenshot 10 of 10